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A Study of Brand Name translation in China

Uploaded by helloamy1117 on Nov 26, 2006

1. Introduction
With the acceleration of economic globalization and China¡¯s entry into WTO, more and more Chinese products are being launched into the international market. Consequently, translating Chinese brand names successfully into English has never been more imperative and vital than today. The translation of Chinese brand names is a kind of intercultural communication. It involves such factors as linguistic laws, cultural psychology, and aesthetic values. A successful translation of the brand name should not only transfer the information concerning the commodity or service, but also transfer its cultural significance to the audience in the target culture. This applies particularly to culture-loaded brand names that have different mental associations in different cultures. According to the principle of functional equivalence, the translated brand names should achieve a perfect linguistic unity among sound, form and meaning. This paper, taking Nida's functional equivalence as its framework, attempts to study the problems that are often encountered in translating brand names into English and suggest ways to solve them.
2. Brand names and the translation
Brand name, an essential component of advertising, is the part of a brand that can be vocalized. It is ¡°a name given by a producer to a particular product, by which it may be recognized from among alike products made by other producers.¡±(Longman Contemporary English-Chinese Dictionary English, 1988)
Aiming to build, reinforce, and/or reposition consumers¡¯ perception of a certain brand, brand names have the following four functions: distinguishing products, providing information, ensuring guarantee and stimulating consumption. In order to build up a good image in the market and arouse favorable associations as well as purchasing desire in the minds of the consumers, brand names should have the following major characteristics: short in length and sweetness, sonorous and distinct, elegant and apt, original and novel.
Translation is a more complex communication than that within a single language because it involves two languages. (Jin & Nida, 1984:31)
Given the uniqueness of brand names translation, the translator must be fully aware of the cultural awareness, aesthetic standards, and consumption modes of both SL and TL readers, and should keep in the mind the intention of the original so as to transfer its message (both linguistic and cultural) maximally, otherwise, ¡° a failure to reflect the spirit and dynamics of the source document is a ¡®mortal sin¡¯¡± (Nida, 1993)
The translator of brand names should strive for the following two effects: (a) the translated brand name should reflect the...

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Uploaded by:   helloamy1117

Date:   11/26/2006

Category:   Other Topics

Length:   24 pages (5,362 words)

Views:   18983

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